Manchester United Player Focus – Paul Scholes

18 08 2010

“Paul Scholes would have been one of my first choices for putting together a great team – that goes to show how highly I have always rated him. He would have been one of the first players I’d have bought, given the chance”. Those are the words of Marcello Lippi, a manager who has won five Serie A titles, a UEFA Champions League, and won the World Cup with Italy in 2006. His gracious remarks show the reputation that Paul Scholes has earned from putting in stellar performances over the past 16 years both domestically and on the European scene. Only two games into the season and the midfielder has earned two man-of-the-match performances against Chelsea in the Community Shield and against Newcastle United on Monday night, and there are even whispers of Mesut who?

Even though he is now 35, and his fitness and pace are not what they used to be, Scholes has evolved into a different player, something which is a remarkable achievement. During his peak he would make trademark late runs into the box, which resulted in eight seasons where he was in double digits for goals. He was in many ways the second striker, playing just off Ruud van Nistelrooy, and was a footballer who would cause havoc to opponents. However, since 2005, setbacks such as knee ligament damage took their toll on a man who was already approaching his 30’s, and meant he could not be the athlete he once was. Since then Scholes has turned into a defensive playmaker. He will sit around the half-way line and spray majestic passes behind the oppositions defence. His pass ratio is consistently high and it is rare to see him lose the ball. If you take into account somebody like Michael Owen, who since losing his pace is not half the player he was, Scholes has shown just how good he is by being able to adopt a different style of play.

Still Going Strong At 35

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Walcott Should Use The Disappointment As A Catalyst

2 06 2010

After the shambolic way in which the FA decided to announce the 23 players England would be taking to the World Cup this summer, via the aid of social networking site Twitter, we were left with a few surprises. The likes of Leighton Baines, Tom Huddlestone and Darren Bent would have sat in thought of how they could have furthered their chances. All arguably in the richest vein of form in their young careers, they would have felt harshly done by being dropped in favour of players in poor form, although a young man who grew up in Newbury would have been distraught at missing out when his place on the plane was only his to lose.

Four years ago England went to Germany with the Coach Sven Goran Eriksson popping a surprise player into his squad – a relatively unheard of 17-year-old called Theo Walcott. With only six months of professional football under his belt playing for south coast side Southampton, Walcott was signed up by Arsenal – Arsene Wenger acting characteristically swiftly in pursuit of refreshing young talent. What surprised the public most was the fact that this fresh-faced youngster hadn’t represented Arsenal, yet he was deemed good enough to go to the World Cup.

Despair For Walcott

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Is Capello The One To Lead England To Glory?

5 05 2010

With only 6 days till one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar kicks off, like usual us England fans start to build that optimism. You know, that hope that this will be our year. How many times have we heard that? The media always over-hype the players and put so much pressure on them. It is quite frightening. But could this actually be our year?

The bookies have placed us as the third favourite behind current European Champions Spain and the illustrious five times winners Brazil. The man who is under the scrutiny of a nation is Italian Fabio Capello, a manager who has won trophies everywhere he has gone, who was even ridiculously sacked by Real Madrid for not winning the league in enough ‘style’. I’m sure we won’t be complaining if we pinch 1-0 victories if it leads us to a trophy we haven’t won since the one and only time 1966, and bar 1990, haven’t really looked as if we could.

Capello Could Relieve England Of Their Burden

Capello Could Relieve England Of Their Burden

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